Sunday, July 29, 2007

Iraq's Soccer Championship

If Iraqis can cooperate in a team sport and win a championship, think of the great things they could accomplish if they stopped fighting and killing every day.

Are Bush and Petreaus thinking about this? Are they doing the right things to foster cooperation?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Time Has Come

The time has come to stop referring to powerful lobbies as lobbies and call them by a name that describes more accurately what they really are.

The are, in reality "Governments."

They have permanent life, regardless of the passage of time or the political party that is in "power" in Washington. They determine what laws are passed. They determine how much money they take from the public and/or the political Government. They determine how much they pay in taxes. They answer to no one except their sponsors.

The Health Insurance Government, the Oil Government, the Agriculture Government, etc. And the newest one, the Hedge Fund Government.

Just read the papers and see who really has the power and who gets the money and who pays (and doesn't pay) the taxes and who gets the "kid-glove" treatment from the media and politicians.

Finally, Bush Makes A Good Speech

Finally, Bush has made a truthful and constructive speech.

An excerpt from the article:

Mr. Bush called for a regional peace conference this fall to be led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that would include high-level Arab envoys and their counterparts from Israel and the Palestinian West Bank. He exhorted Israel’s Arab neighbors to open talks with Israel and to show leadership by “ending the fiction that Israel does not exist” and “stopping the incitement of hatred in their official media.”

He also urged them to send cabinet-level visitors to Israel, a request directed implicitly at America’s closest Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, which has refused to do so.

“With all these steps, today’s Arab leaders can show themselves to be the equals of peacemakers like Anwar Sadat and King Hussein of Jordan,” Mr. Bush said.

He even took a rare jab at Israel, using the word “occupation” to refer to the Israeli presence in the West Bank.

Pull Out of Iraq (Not)

There is a lot of agitation in the press and especially among Democratic politicians for the U.S. to pull out of Iraq, no matter what. It's a lot of hot air.

None of the Presidential candidates is committed to a withdrawal, so there will not be one.

The area is much too important for the U.S. to abandon it to chaos and possible Chinese take-over. See what the Chinese are doing in Africa regarding oil.

End of story.

Calorie Counts on Restaurant Menus

It seems that calorie counts are coming in spite of predictable industry opposition.

What's ironic about this proposal is its lateness. This should have been standard practice practice for a long time.

I remember when I started working at Mobil Oil headquarters in 1962 on 42nd Street between Lexington and Third, how surprised and pleased I was that they posted calorie counts on the menu board in the employee cafeteria. They were pioneers.

When I moved on to IBM in 1966, I was surprised to see that they did not post calorie counts. When I inquired, nobody knew what I was talking about.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dowd(y)'s Sunday Column of Satire Re Bush

In 2000, Dowdy ridiculed Gore without mercy. Never mind that he was a decent, hard working, intelligent and patriotic public servant and Bush was (and is) a bag of ordure*.

Dowdy did her bit to help Bush to get elected. Shame on Maureen Dowdy!

Furthermore, Bush is not the big problem. He is a hyena and there will always be hyenas ready to grab power and harm the country.

There ARE however two big problems, which need to be addressed:

1. The media. The reporters and the pundits are too ignorant, lazy and cowardly to debunk the garbage that's distributed by the Bushes and the Cheneys and their ilk. Include Dowdy. Yeah, she's finally waking up, but it's late.

2. The voters are too lazy and uninterested to analyze the garbage that Rove, Bush, Cheney and the other demagogues put out and vote against their own self-interest. That is the only possible explanation for the re-election of Bush & Cheney. Their lies were perfectly transparent. Yet tens of millions of voters re-elected them.
*Ordure = excrement; dung, something regarded as vile or obnoxious..

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Profile of A Suicide Bomber

See today's Ted Rall cartoon.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Impeaching Bush and Cheney

It is remarkable that on many blogs there are numerous calls for impeaching Bush and Cheney.

Presumably the writers mean impeachment in the House of Representatives followed the required two thirds vote in the Senate for removal from office.

This will not happen. Let me repeat: this will not happen.

First, impeachment in the House, if it were to happen, would have to started by the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi who has firmly stated that is not on the table, that it will not happen -- end of story. Strange but true. Without the Speaker's approval, there cannot be any impeachment.

But, let's think creatively. Let's say the House does impeach Bush and Cheney. To remove them from office, assuming unanimity among Democrats (unlikely), another 16 Republican votes would be required -- an absolute impossibility. Why? Because if Bush and Cheney were removed from office, a Democrat would become President, Nancy Pelosi. Republicans would never, absolutely never do that.

So, we live with Bush and Cheney for another 557 days. We just have to accept that.

For relief, we can browbeat all the fools who voted for Bush and Cheney on 2004.

For those who believe in the power of prayer, a useful activity might be to implore the Deity not to allow Bush to declare martial law and have himself anointed as "Emperor of the United States."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More Obesity Now, Especially In Red States

CNN offers a state-by-state analysis of obesity in the US.

Click on the year icons to witness the great increase in fatness over the past 20 years.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What Gore Should Have Done in the 2000 Campaign:

Writing of the 2000 presidential debate, Dr. Westen says that instead of saying he was “not going to respond in kind” to Mr. Bush’s attacks on his credibility and character, Vice President Gore should have said that he was going to teach his opponent “a few old-fashioned lessons about character,” mentioning Mr. Bush’s drunk-driving incidents, business practices and Vietnam-era Air National Guard service, using the words “coward,” “drunk,” “crooked” and “disgrace.”

Excerpt above from an interesting review in today's NYTimes.

Public Tunes Out Al Gore's Live Earth Concert

See article for a report of the limited success of Al Gore's preaching.

You place a frog in a pot filled with cold water and start heating the pot, slowly. By the time the frog realizes that something is going terribly wrong, he is too weak to jump out. Result: dead frog.

Same thing happening on a grander scale with people and global warming -- only much worse.

The people who will suffer first and most are not the ones causing the warming.

The people who are causing the warming will have adequate means to protect themselves.

So, since the guilty parties are firm believers in the "I'm OK, f--k everybody else," principle, global warming will continue.

I had a real eye-opener yesterday. I parked my Camry in the local supermarket lot. Confronting me was a Hummer. I felt like I was looking at a tank bent on doing me serious harm. That's what it's all about: intimidation.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Abuse of Power by NY City Police and Bloomberg's Bizarre Behavior

In today's column, entitled "A Girl's Fear and Loathing,"Bob Herbert describes abusive behavior by a New York City police officer and the refusal of the police commissioner and the mayor to recognize the existence of a problem.

I had been wondering about Mayor Bloomberg's recent bizarre behavior. First, he leaves the Republican Party and becomes an Independent. Then his helpers leak Bloomberg's prospective run as a third party candidate for the Presidency. Then Bloomberg announces that he supports Republican politicians in New York State. What's with Bloomberg?

This latest revelation is really too much. Bloomberg has always expressed great pride and confidence in the New York City Police Department. Now, he is in a state of denial about a police officer who has abused a female high school student. This man wants to be President?

What's "Old" Nowadays?

With all the near-magic that doctors and drugs do for us nowadays, there seems to be a growing belief that "old" does not exist any more.

You (supposedly) are as old as you you're willing to let yourself become. If you exercise, eat properly, keep your weight below 25 Body Mass Index, take your medicines, meditate, do yoga, take a nap, forgive all who have offended (or hurt) you, maintain a lively social life, give to charities, love thy neighbor as thyself, wear comfortable shoes, take a baby aspirin every day, take good care of your teeth and gums, etc. you can live a long time and stay well and enjoy every day of your life.

So, as part of my effort to live a long time and stay well, I visit my dentist and five doctors (primary care, eye, kidney, skin and blood) with some regularity. (I have seen many other doctors and surgeons during the past eight years, but only as required.)

On my recent visit to my blood doctor, I was speaking with nurse Hilda. She was busy sticking a needle into my arm to pull out a blood sample for analysis. I was complaining to her a little bit about the trials and tribulations of becoming old. I had recently celebrated, sort of, my 78th birthday.

So she tells me quite firmly (she is that kind of a person) that 78 is not old. Definitely not old.

Try telling that to Beverly Sills.

Friday, July 06, 2007

"Sacrifice Is for Suckers"

That is the title of today's column by Paul Krugman. He is writing about the gap between the sacrifice recommended by the Bushers and experienced entirely by other people.

That motto applies even for strongly to the political and religious leaders of all the jihadist movements.

For example, Hamas leaders are well fed and well dressed and they teach their young people to hate Jews and to commit suicide while attempting to kill Jews.

Arafat was even worse. He stole an amount variously estimated at between 300 million US dollars and over one billion from the Pals, while he was directing the Intifada, a totally useless exercise that caused a lot of death and destruction and greatly increased the misery of Palestinians' lives.

Obama Almost Even With Hillary

Obama has practically caught up to Hillary on the Intrade website, supposedly the most reliable predictor of actual outcomes.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Hillary's Campaign is Slipping, Fast

It's working!

All the negative stuff being bandied about Hillary is causing her campaign for the Democratic nomination to implode.

If you check out the Intrade betting site her numbers are dropping and Obama's are rising.

Looking ahead to an Obama-Giuliani face-off, Giuliani will employ Rove or a Rove-type to slime and shred nice-guy Obama and we can look ahead to another 4 or eight years of Republican rule.

Congratulations, lint-pickers.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Significant Event in Iraq

The Iraq Cabinet has approved the proposed oil law for dividing oil revenues among Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites. It is expected that Iraq's Parliament will also approve the law.

Part of the law is the awarding of extremely profitable contracts to ExxonMobil and British Petroleum for refurbishing the Iraq Oil industry and development of new oil-producing fields.

This should make all parties happy and put an end to hostilities, if they choose to act rationally.

It will also achieve Bush and Cheney's true objective for starting and continuing the war: grabbing Iraq's oil for ExxonMobil.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Yet Another Column on Why People Hate Hillary

Judith Warner has discovered a topic that draws a huge reader response: "Why Do People Hate Hillary?" Recently, she published a second column on this subject. It has drawn almost 300 responses, more than 200 seeking to explain the hate for Hillary, which is taken as a fact.

Here is one of my three responses:

#252. June 29th, 2007, 8:48 pm

This column has brought out all the insects from the space between the baseboard and the floor.

We see all the ugly excuses for hating someone who has pioneered.

Hillary is the first woman in American politics who has an excellent chance of becoming President.

All the rednecks, weaklings and sickos just can’t tolerate this. It just burns them up. It makes them see red. They can barely control their anger. “How dare she? Who does she think she is? She’s acting uppity.”

Tough! She’s going to win. Get used to hearing and seeing “President Clinton (44).”